Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Accessible Travel Options: By Land, By Air, and By Sea conference call. At this time all participants are in a listen only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session, and at that time if you would like to ask a question, you may do so by touching the 1 on your touch tone phone. As a reminder this conference is being recorded today, September 19, 2006. I would now like to turn this conference over to Mr. Peter Berg.
Welcome everyone to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Audio Conference, a collaborative effort of the ten regional ADA and Accessible Information Technology (IT) Centers also known as the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers. It is hard to believe but we are at the final session of the 2005 - 2006 year for the audio conference. We run the Audio Conference along the federal fiscal year from October to September. Here we are at the 12th session of the year, it has gone by very quickly. As we have been for the previous 11 sessions, we are very fortunate to have an outstanding speaker joined us today. For information about the Audio Conference Series, you can always visit www.ada-audio.org or you can reach your regional ADA and IT Centers by calling 1-800-949-4232. I will have some information following this session regarding future sessions of the ADA audio conference. Today, we are going to spend our time talking about travel in the issues that face individuals with disabilities as they look to travel. As you can tell by the title; By Air, By Land, and By Sea. Joining us today to cover that topic is Stephanie Acosta. She is the Corporate Travel Manager from the United Spinal Association. Stephanie has spent the past 16 years in the travel arena, and the most recent seven, she has spent with the United Spinal Association. She has worked with large corporate accounts, including Colgate, Palmolive and Universal Studios. She helped to create the recently established travel agency called "Able to Travel" and we will hear a little bit about that. Stephanie began her career in the travel arena at the American Airlines Academy back in 1991. And she recently was awarded her CTC, which is the highest certification in the travel arena. She also serves on the numerous committees advising regarding ADA and other accessibility issues for different modes of transportation. So, we are very pleased to have Stephanie join us. Today''s session is going to run just a little bit differently than we normally run sessions. We will have question and answer throughout Stephanie''s presentation today. So, we will pause at various intervals in the session to allow you to ask questions and we will have the Operator back at that point to instruct you on how to get in line to ask questions. So, without further ado, we will go ahead and turn it over to Stephanie.
Thank you very much, Peter. That was a great introduction. Well, my name is Stephanie Acosta and like Peter said, I have been in the industry for over 16 years and the past seven years, I have spent all my time working on accessible travel, to make it easier for persons with spinal cord injuries or diseases. It has come a long way. So, I guess we will start. On Slide 2, I am referring to the ACAA overview. This is the law, how it got started. In 1996, the ACAA was passed by Congress. Regulations issued in 1990, regulations have been amended numerous times. By the organization I work with the United Spinal Association has 3 attorneys on site and they have made a big impact on those changes. And then you have Air 21 passed in 2000, and which is applying to the ACAA to foreign carriers. The new travel agency is called Able to Travel. This travel agency is the only travel agency that we know of, that has, is a full-service travel agency which means, a full-service travel agency we book hotels, we book cars rentals, we book ground transportations, cruises, we will book everything. And in addition to that, what we do, what other travel agencies dont do is we rent medical equipments. Moving forward, I am going to start with air, traveling with a power wheelchair vs. traveling with a manual wheelchair. Well, it is not completely different, but it is a little bit different. There used to be a time with power wheelchairs that they had wet cell batteries, they had to be removed from the wheelchair when they were put into the bottom of the plane or the cargo area. And at that time, it was very difficult for people because they would be concerned that the chair of course would not work and rightfully so. Recently, I would say in the last few years, it changed to gel batteries which means they don''t have to be removed anymore. So it is a little bit simpler for people traveling. Traveling with a power wheelchair seems to be a very big concern of a lot of people who are traveling because they are afraid that the airline is going to break the wheelchair, which has happens, but they are getting better. I mean they are trying very hard not to do that, they are trying to handle the chairs very delicately and we also have actually a wheelchair medic department which we call it and we have accounts with both different airlines and we fix the wheelchairs. The airline pays for the wheelchairs, no matter what it costs, they pay for it. It is a big issue because if you don''t have your wheelchair for a certain amount of time, it is upsetting and we understand that. When you are traveling with a power chair, the first thing that happens is you stay in your wheelchair and you dont get out of your wheelchair until you get to the gate, and at the gate you will transfer to a straight back wheelchair. And on my next Slide you can see a picture of that. The straight back wheelchair is a narrow wheel chair, because it has to get down the aisle obviously. Once you transfer from your power wheelchair or manual wheelchair it doesnt matter, you will transfer at the gate before you go down the jet way. At that point, you usually have two people from the airline assisting you. They dont work for the airline but they are contracted out from the airline and they are supposed to be trained to handle how to move somebody and they don''t hurt anybody. Most people really do a good job. So, you are moved into the straight back chair, you go straight onto the aircraft and then you have to transfer. There is a lot of transferring, but people get really used to it once you travel a lot. You transfer from the straight back to the seat. Today, things have changed, where the armrest lifts up so it is a lot easier for people to transfer right into the seat. Usually, the questions, let us say you were going to make all these airlines reservations without using Able to Travel. We are trying to help people. This is not a money-making thing. We are really trying to help people. You have to be your own advocate. You have to know what to ask and you have to be strong about it and make sure you get the right person. If you don''t get the right person on the phone when you are making a reservation or on the internet, then you ask for the manager. Usually, what airline personnel will ask you is can you assent or descent stairs, that is going to be the first question. And you answer that question. And usually the next question will be do you need assistance or can you transfer by yourself. Always make it more that you need more assistance than you need because at least they will have the proper people there to help you. They might ask you the size of your wheelchair, how much it weights. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don''t, they are supposed to and hopefully they do. That really comes into account, like I handle large sports teams and there is like 20 wheelchairs. When you are on a small aircraft, it is one big problem. Sometimes you have to get the aircraft changed and so forth, and they have a sports wheelchair and their everyday wheelchair. But when you have one wheelchair on an aircraft, it is really not a big deal so they are not really concerned about a weight or how large the dimensions are. If you have a problem at the airport, the first thing you do, which is not really advertised which it should be, is ask for a CRO. The people who are CROs, they are trained to help, they are Complete Resolution Officers, their sole function at the airport is to help people who have any type of disability. That is what they are supposed to do. They are always on call, there is always somebody on call. We have trained the CROs also, we have done that type of training too. The CRO is not going to end the conversation with coming to some type of resolution. They have to have some type of resolution. It is going to be the resolution that you wanted I am not sure but there has to be some type of resolution. If somebody in the airline personnel is looking at the person who may be standing with you and not at you, that is unacceptable. They have looked directly at you, and you can ask for the CRO just for that, because you feel like you have been disrespected and that is not acceptable. The obstacles that you might run into unfortunately we have had some issues where when you are a wheelchair user, you are the first one on and the last one off the plane. They are supposed to call before they hit the gate when they are landing wherever your destination is and tell airline personnel at the gate that you are landing to, that there is a wheelchair user on board and we need an aisle chair back and we need assistance. The worse case scenario, this doesnt happen often anymore because there have been so many complaints and it is just not happening often. Sometimes, you have to just make sure you remind them because you could be left on the aircraft. And it has happened if you are by yourself and it is a horrible thing and it is really is. We have gone after people very seriously with that. I would ask, if I was on board, I would ask maybe about 10 minutes before landing, just remind them to get somebody at the gate because they have intercom and the pilots speak directly to the gates and they will do that, as long as they are asked. We are going to move on to the next Slide, it shows a boarding chair. This is what a boarding chair looks like, they are narrow, obviously, because of the aircraft, going down the aisle is narrow. There is a lot of straps and they have to strap you in. We did have one situation where somebody who was a quadriplegic was not strapped in on top, that happened 5 years ago and it was a mistake that has been rectified. We have done extensive training. I hate bringing bad things, but I just want to explain to you like just to be your own advocate. Make sure you are strapped in, make sure all the belts are tied correctly you know. Just look at it. Moving on to Slide 6, this shows our good friend Douglas Beckley coming off a small aircraft. Now, we run into a big challenge these days. The fact of the matter is airlines are changing aircraft. When they used to use these big jets to go to let us say to Cleveland, no longer are they using these big jets, they are using small planes because of the gas and because of the crew and because they are not selling all of the seats and there is just many reasons. This affects us though, because as a wheelchair user, if the plane lands and is small and doesn''t land at a jet way where you just transfer back into your aisle chair, then you have to worry about a lift. There is two different types of lifts at the airports. There is a mechanical lift like a crane that you just move, and then there is a power lift which often is broken. We run into those problems but we as an organization are well respected in the industry and we make sure that that doesnt happen. But again if you are making the phone call, you just make sure if you asked them about the equipment, and that is what is called, the aircraft is also called the equipment. And it is very, very important, the size of the equipment. And like I say again if you are flying like down from New York like I am flying to Albany, then what is going to happen is I am going to be on a small aircraft. So that is why Jet Blue made it so big, because they are all jets. There are not just people with disabilities who dont like small planes a lot of people just dont like small planes. And the airlines are just using them for their own reasons for a price. So we are moving on to Slide 7, well we talked about boarding assistance. For aircraft with fewer than 19 passenger seats, boarding assistance is not required. Now what that means is if this is a really small plane, that is why you are going to want to know. You really want to know what size of aircraft. We don''t run into that that often, unless you are traveling like from Honolulu to Maui. It just doesn''t happen that often because those aircrafts has been a little bit dis-- they are not discontinued but they are not used as much, those are really small aircrafts. But, that is something that you have to mention to the person if you are traveling to a remote destination then you have to mention that to the reservationists. They can tell you that they won''t lift you. They can do that. At this point, we are trying to change that. But at this point, we cant, they can. For aircrafts 19 or more passenger seats, carriers must provide boarding assistance to passengers with disabilities by using a mechanical lift or other device which we just spoke about. That is for 19 or more seats. Moving forward to Slide 8, the seat assignments. There are certain aircrafts that will say that they are not going to release the bulkhead seat until 24 hours before. If the bulkhead seat is not an emergency exit row which sometimes it is, which means they are obviously not emergency row qualified so we run into that problem. But again that is happening less. Passengers who use an aisle chair to access the aircraft and cannot transfer over a fixed aisle armrest must be assigned to a seat in a row with a movable aisle armrest. I am not sure of the number because it depends on the aircraft, but there are a few on there. There is more than three on a big aircraft. Passengers with disabilities who are traveling with a personal care attendant are either an assistant or interpreter who will be performing functions for the passengers during the flights must be provided with seats next to each other. They have to. Now once again, the reservationist can say those seats are not available. If you have to wait until you get to the airport to get those seats, dont get too upset because it is okay. It happens often because the seats are all taken and they have to move people around. Keep in mind, there are people that request seats that really don''t need them just because they want more leg room. So it is hard for the airline to know on the phone if you truly need the seat or not. So that is something just to keep in mind. Moving on to Slide 9, it is continued, passengers with disabilities traveling with a service animal must be assigned the bulkhead seat or seat other than the bulkhead seat as requested because the service animal must be nearby and you need the room for the service animal. Passengers with a fuse or a mobilized leg must be assigned a seat that provides greater legroom such as the bulkhead seats. If the bulkhead seat is an emergency exit row, then we run into another problem. But they will be assigned a seat, they will figure it out and they will take out a seat if they have to. They have to do that. Moving forward, stowage of personal equipment, we talked about that a little bit before. Air carriers must accept collapsible battery powered wheelchairs as a carry-on baggage. It is something that doesnt really happen anymore because it is gel battery and when the wheelchair is put below the battery stay contained on the chair. You dont take off the battery. This is just in case if there are still wet cells out there, you have to take the battery off you can bring it on with you on the aircraft. Moving on, air carriers must accept manual wheelchairs as carry-on baggage. Now what that means is, if you have a manual wheelchair and there is room on the plane, like it should be a closet on the plan, again, this all depends on the aircraft. They are supposed to stow your manual wheelchair on the aircraft. If they have it in the closet, like the flight attendants bags, make-up purses, they have to take that out, your wheelchair comes first. That is the first priority and quite often that, the wheelchair will be stowed on board. But there are times if there is no room, there is nothing that they can do about it. So it goes underneath, but they out it in last, so you know it is supposed to be the first thing out. So that is a positive thing. Moving forward, services provided within the aircraft. If needed, they will open food packages for you, assist the use of on-board wheelchair to get to the lavatories. Certain aircrafts have lavatories and assist in retrieving carry-on items. They will help you with all of that so you dont have to worry. The airline liability for equipment. I am going to move forward on this because you can just read through that, and the liability is if they break it, they got to fix it. Aircraft accessibility, again, this is something that we talked about. Aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats have movable aisle armrests on 50% of the seats. Now that is even a bigger number than I was saying, that is 50% of the seats. Aircrafts with a 100 and more seats must have priority space and cabin for storage of at least of one folding wheelchair. Now, you can still run into a problem with that because there is hard ship clauses where they have something in there that is pertaining to the aircraft. But, if it has a 100 or more seats, they are supposed to have priority space. Moving forward, aircrafts with more than one aisle chair should have at least on accessible lavatory. Aircraft with more than 60 passengers seats and has accessible lavatory shall have an operable on-board wheelchair. So this is all stuff that you can keep and refer back to and of course at the end, anybody can contact me if they need any help.
Stephanie, a real quick clarification, do airplanes with two aisles must have the accessible laboratory?
Airplanes with one aisle chair should have at least one accessible lavatory. That is what it says there. This is a guideline. They are supposed too. This is not law. There supposed to have an accessible laboratory but it might not seem accessible to every single person depending on the size of the person, too. It is one of those shaky situations.
Ok, thank you.
Ok, we are done with air.
Alright Operator, if you want to come back in and give the individuals participating by phone instructions on how they can ask a question now I would appreciate that.
Ladies and gentlemen, we will now begin the question and answer session. If you have a question, please press one from your touch-tone phone. If your question has been answered and you wish to withdraw your request, you may do so by pressing the pound key. Questions will be answered in the order they are received. One moment please, for the first question.
For those of you participating through audio-streaming on your computer or real-time text streaming, you may submit questions by following the instructions where you logged in to get access to the session today. You also have the opportunity to ask questions of Stephanie. Operator, can we have the first question please.
Your first question.
Go ahead with your first question.
Ok, we will go to the next question.
Do you have any guidance as we are trying to establish policy for some objective standards for purchasing two tickets for somebody who is large, or according to the policies of the airline needs to buy two tickets?
Well right now, that hasnt been, they have tried to do that but that has not been passed. That is something that just came up like in the last year or two. They shouldnt have to purchase two tickets. But that is just something they have tried to do but have not been passed like I said.
I just talked with a couple of airlines this morning and they said it is in their policy that you have to buy two tickets if you are a size such as that you need to buy two tickets or you need to have two seats.
Well how do they know what the size, did the person say that they, I don''t know how that conversation played out. I mean it depends on how the conversation played out, how the person asked for the seats.
That is the problem I have, they didnt have any objective standards or measurement that I could say you satisfy this standard or this requirement. They just said if the person would be more comfortable in having two seats.
Well if the person will be more comfortable I guess that is what they are trying to get at but you shouldnt have to but two tickets though, you might be uncomfortable though.
Part of the issue is that the obesity is not a disability in and of itself, that hasnt meet the definition of disability under any of the federal legislation. As far as I am aware of, that hasn''t been challenged under the Air Carrier Access Act. There a few airlines out there with policies that do require individuals because of their size, they need the space for two seats that require them to purchase two seats.
Ok, Southwest I know was trying, we I guess we don''t run into that that often, it isnt part of our, but I remember I heard about that. I dont think it is right but yeah.
Alright, thanks for that question. May we have our next question please.
Your next question.
Hi, how are you? I wonder if you can give us any guidance on service areas, service relief areas, the kind of materials that would be most appropriate and how many in a large facility would you suggest that we have them on at every concord or ?
I am sorry, can you ask me that question again?
I would like some guidance on service relief areas, and also if you know of any policy with the gaffers, the gaffers who take people around who use wheelchairs are also supposed to help somebody who uses a service dog in order to go to the relief area.
They do have people that help. What I can do is you can contact me afterwards and I can speak to, -- we actually have a list of people.
Great, ok, thank you very much. At the end, you will give everybody your contact information? Is it easier to get you through the AbletoTravel.com?
You can just call me, it is fine.
Stephanies contact information is at the end of the power point presentation. Stephanie, any guidance or suggestion regarding the first question regarding service animal guide dogs?
As long as the service animal has their license.
Alright. But as far as any guidance, I think she was getting at in terms of areas where the dog can be taken out to relieve the dog, take it outside of the airport itself, the facility? Is there any guidance or anything that you have come across in that area?
We have a separate area for guidance dogs and I have to look at it specifically because I work mostly with people who right now they are using guidance dogs, but I have to look at it before I answer that question. And that is why I asked her to contact me afterwards because I dont want to answer that question wrong.
Ok for those of you out there that also want to get information on that question, we will have Stephanie pass that along to us and we will get that out to all of the ADA centers so that you can contact your ADA center on that question. Operator, may we have another question please on air travel.
The next question comes from the Captioner. Please go ahead.
Alright, this question. Would you please clarify the rule about when there must be an accessible restroom, your handout says when there is more than one aisle, but you said when there is one aisle. And also, what type of guidelines do they use to determine what is an "accessible" lavatory?
On the first part of the question, it says aircrafts with more than one aisle it is supposed to be two aisles. If there are two aisles on the aircraft, they are supposed to have an accessible lavatory. Now what they go by is the ADA law on the accessible lavatory, it is supposed to be 32 inches wide and there is a certain radius as well that they have inside. But the 32 inches that is supposed to be, that is how wide that the doorway is supposed to be.
So, based on the ADA requirements, a 32 inches wide door and a 60 inches turning radius within the laboratory itself. But again, just to clarify, it is for airplanes with more than one aisle. Airplanes with two aisles must have the accessible lavatory.
I am sorry about that confusion. It is two aisles.
Alright, we have time for one more question before we move on to the other sections. Operator, can we have one more question on the air travel please.
The next question.
Good afternoon. I was wondering in the presentation so far, you have said they must do this, they must do that, they have to use something else. But then towards the end of this section, you said that none of this was actual statute, but instead was policy, that is what I am wondering. Is everything you have presented so far part of the ACAA, or are there other pertinent statutes? I ask not only for the people that we serve, but I also ride a large power wheelchair, travel with a service partner dog. I am just looking for a pertinent statute.
Sure, we will go ahead and address that for you. Thank you for your question.
The ACAA Act is that I have actually the pamphlet I can send it to you and it talks about exactly what their requirements are and what they have to do. Now when I was saying there are certain things on there, like for example if you have a manual wheelchair, you can ask for it to be put on board, ok. Now, the problem is that if they are using the closet for something other than flight attendants coats or pocket books or whatever, they have a right to keep that in there as long as it is pertaining to the aircraft. I have a book that can show you exactly what the law is, and if you want I can send it to you.
Is there a statute other than the ACAA?
Well, the ADA.
The ADA itself, I see. Okay I get it.
But as far as air travel itself goes, once you get on the jet way down to the aircraft itself, it is the Air Carriers Access Act.
That is the one that applies not the ADA.
The ADA does not apply itself to the airlines or to air travels, so you need to look at the Air Carriers Access Act for the guidelines.
And I have a lot of books that I could send out to you. I have one in front of me actually that my boss actually wrote.
That is okay. If it is the Act, then I can look that up the Act. I appreciate that. Thank you.
Thank you very much. We are going to move on to our next section. If we have time at the end, we will take more air travel questions. So, Stephanie will go ahead, back into your presentation.
Ok, now, we moved on to By Land: Hotel. What to tell the reservationists. Ok, when you are making a hotel reservation, there are some things that you have to check into, I mean somebody could say that they are accessible. But I am sure you guys are really smart out there, I am sure that you know that there are things that somebody think it is accessible and you don''t find it accessible. That is the ADA that handles that. What type of rooms do they have? There are two different types of rooms or there could be three different types of rooms, considering how new they are, or considered wheelchair accessible. They have the roll-in shower versus the shower bench. You will see on the next Slide what the requirements are on the size of the hotel and you will see on the next Slide that will give you the guidance and that is what the rules are. So, just so you know. When we move on, you will see it. So, you ask for a roll-in shower versus a shower bench. You should make sure if it is a small chain and not in the USA there could be ADA compliance issues, because they don''t have to follow our rules, so we do run into that a little bit. However, you know what they are getting so much more accessible in Europe and the Caribbean and things are just coming together. There are so many people out there that need everything to be accessible. The door which should always be at least 32 inches wide, that is the ADA law. And also, the bathroom should have and what should the diameter should be in the bathroom to fully move your wheelchair, that depends on the bathroom. Ok, it is supposed to be the diameter gets a little bit, it is not uniform so it is hard to say, but I can get that to you. I can put the diameter in there, but I would rather wait and give you the information than give you the wrong answer.
Right, as far as the accessible rooms have to have the accessible bathroom which would include the 60-inch turning radius, and as for a new construction, all rooms regardless of whether they are required to be accessible must have 32-inch doors clear width into and throughout the room itself.
And have to do that. And that means the front door, that means the bathroom door, that means every door in there. Be sure to ask about the pool and the bar area. All areas should be accessible. So that is a big thing to bring up. There are some hotels that have wheelchairs with the big wheels. So you can go down to the beach if you are in the Caribbean, a lot of them have them these days or you can rent one if you want one. They are not required to, but there are a lot that have them. On the next slide which is Slide 15, it shows how with the numbers are; 1 to 25 rooms, 1 accessible room, this is what this is what they have to have. If there is 26-50 rooms, they should have 2 accessible rooms, if it is 51-75 rooms, they have 3 accessible rooms and so forth. I would just move forward. It goes on with of the numbers. Must be dispersed among each type of room and or amenity, that is very important. Visual alarms must be provided in certain number of sleeping rooms. Common use areas must be accessible. Hotel transportation must be accessible. Now that, I just want to touch on for a second, hotel transportation. That means when the shuttle comes to the airport, and it is part of the hotel, if they do not have the shuttle that, if they do not have a shuttle that has a lift and it is not accessible, then they have to pay for your transportation to get to the hotel. Because if they are providing it for somebody who can walk, they have to provide it for somebody who cannot. We do that all the time. Moving forward, this just shows the hotel pool, the width of the door, we just wanted to show you how it should look. Moving forward, this is a roll-in shower. Just to show you on Slide 18. Moving forward, a pet peeve, this is something that happens all the time. There is no such thing as being grandfathered in. ADA requires barrier removal unless hardships and unless there has been no construction before 1988. You are going to hear that we are a grandfathered in and it is something that my boss takes very seriously, and she is an attorney and she takes that very seriously. Don''t accept that. You know you call us and we will help you. Moving forward, Slide 20. This is at the end of hotels. So, if you want to, hotels is a shorter version, so if you want to ask questions now about hotels.
Alright, can the Operator, if you want to come in and let folks know again they can ask a question. Again those participating in audio streaming and real text captioning you can also ask questions. Operator, go ahead.
Once again, ladies and gentlemen, to ask a question, please press one from your touch-tone phone. Your first question comes from the Captioner, please go ahead.
What if you have a confirmed reservation and upon your arrival you are told that the person who had the room the night before decided to stay an extra night, and thus, there is no accessible room for you? And their "accommodation" is to send you across town to another hotel? What if all the accessible rooms are held by people with disabilities?
Well, they are supposed to let you, they should tell the person the night before that the room is already sold, they should not let the person stay there an extra night and I would be surprised if they did. They should see that the room is already sold for the next night so the person could not stay in the room. They would have to tell the person no, that the extra night we don''t have it available.
Right, that would seem to be a clear policy. If rooms are already sold out for the following night, they shouldn''t be allowing someone to remain in an accessible room when they have already confirmed that room for the next evening. Operator, do we have our next question please?
Your next question.
My question is like for the pool area, do they have a lift to get into the pool? Most places that I stay at, many hotels they don''t even have that to get in.
No, they don''t.
They say it is accessible but it is not truly accessible. This is another question, that we cant reserve an accessible room for you, we cant just hold that for you.
Well, that is not acceptable, it is not a request. It is not that you are requesting a non-smoking room. Our agents strongly advise, we have three agents besides myself, that is my pet peeve. That is a good question that you asked, because you will get people who say I will put the request in. Unacceptable. You speak to the manager and you explain to them that it is not a request, I require it.
It may be a situation where they have other rooms that are still available but they have already rented out, taken reservations for the accessible rooms for other individuals with disabilities. But if they have other rooms available and they have guests who don''t require the accessibility in the accessible rooms, they should as part of their modifications policy should be moving individuals to provide someone with a disability the opportunity to use the accessible room. Back to your first question, under the current enforceable standards there are no requirements for lifts at pools at hotels. There must be an accessible path of travel to the pool area that is fully covered as a as part of common use area, so that must be that path of travel to the pool but under the current enforceable standards no requirements for access into the pool itself.
I would just like to add one more thing Peter. The problem is training the staff. A lot of times at the hotels, they are just not trained properly and unfortunately they dont know, they cant look into the system and know what is accessible. We run into that problem lot, it is a lot of training issues.
Right, right, as far as the Department of Justice the ADA/Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Revisions published back in August of 2004 by the Access Board, what the Department of Justice is currently working on adopting it. New enforceable standards they do provide accessibility standards for access to pools. So that is something that there will be enforceable standards in the future however currently there is nothing in the current enforceable standards. Thank you for your question. We have time for one more question on hotel access.
Your next question.
Yes, I am interested in knowing what kind of accommodations are available for people with visual impairment or hearing loss?
Ok, Peter, I am going to let you answer that question.
Sure. There are requirements within the accessibility standards. A certain number of rooms should be equipped for an individual that is deaf or hearing-impaired, providing a TTY telephone, flashing lights providing access to an alarm system, a way to notify the individual through some type of device that someone is knocking on their door or that the phone is ringing. There are other modifications and policies that hotels must make in order to assist guests that are blind or visually impaired, and those could include marking a key card so that the individual who is blind or visually impaired knows which way to slip the card into his or her door, it could be providing assistance on guiding someone through out the hotel. The accessibility standards require that permanent rooms and spaces be identified with raised characters in Braille. So hotel rooms should have raised characters as well as Braille numbers located to the side of the hotel doorway. The U.S. Department of Justice has two separate technical assistance documents, both addressing hotels and motels one regarding individuals that are blind or visually impaired and second addressing guests that are deaf or hearing impaired. You can get those materials on the Department of Justices website at www.ada.gov or you can get that as well by contacting your regional ADA and IT Centers at 800-949-4232. Alright, Stephanie why dont we go ahead and move along. And for those of you that havent had the opportunity to get through with your questions on hotels or on air travel, again if we have time at the end of the presentation, we will open it up to questions on all topics. So Stephanie, why dont you go ahead with the next section.
The next section is By Land. Now this is the biggest challenge, this is our biggest challenge, ground transportation. Ground transportation could be to from your house to the airport, from the airport to the hotel, from a hotel to a site, to a destination, it could be anywhere. The company that we used the most is Wheelchairs Getaways. That company is a van service that has ramps, so the wheelchairs can go on board inside the van. They could either put controls in it, left controls or right controls or they can take out the seats, the bucket seats that is usually bucket seats in the front and they can take out the bucket seats for the passenger side and you can be locked down and stay in your wheelchair. There is high top and hydraulic lifts, they have expensive rates. A daily rate on Wheelchair Getaways is $85 or $90 a day. Also they have to drop the car to you at the airport when you arrive and then they come back and pick it up from you. There is a drop and pick up fee. So it is a little bit expensive, it is something that we are trying to work on and we are trying to get it a little bit cheaper because they are basically the only company that handles it in the U.S. right now. There are other companies but they are the biggest. Excursion trips from cruises, that is a big thing and I want to, I just want to mention that you are going to need to that, I will get into cruises later. But when you have an excursion trip and you are booking a cruise, you have to make sure that the ground transportation is accessible, otherwise you are not going to be able to get off the boat and it is going to be hard. Moving forward, number 21, this is also By Land. This is car rentals. All of the major rental car companies in the USA will install hand controls.
Sorry, I just wanted to interject real quickly that, now we are getting into something that is explicitly addressed by the ADA. This is something that is required and the Department of Justice has reached several different settlement agreements with the larger car rental agencies regarding hand controls and requirements to provide access.
That is true Peter. And sometime we run into the problems where they are franchises and we run into that problem. But they are, you think they are doing a good job and it is part of the law and they are doing a much better job today than they were years ago arent they?
I think that as individuals become aware of their rights and what exactly agencies are required to do, they are better able to advocate for themselves. Car rental agencies have done better jobs of educating their staffs.
All major car rental companies in the USA will install hand controls. But you must be careful when making the reservation, because you have to make sure that you ask for the special service department usually. Usually there is always a special service department or an ADA department. Usually the reservationist that you initially speak to will take the reservation. The first thing you should mention on the phone is that you are going to need left hand controls. So you dont go through the whole reservation and they say I cant this and I have to transfer you. You are better off saying right away that you need left hand controls or right hand controls or whatever special needs that you require. It is best to give at least 24 hours notice to ensure that the controls are installed on the car that you want. Because this way, if you want a Lincoln, they have they can make sure that they can get a Lincoln from another city or wherever they have the move the cars over from, and they will do that you know. So if you want a Lincoln and they say that they dont have one they will try to accommodate and try to get you the Lincoln. Be prepared once again for the questions the reservationist will ask you. For example, do you want left or right hand controls, do you require a, just know they will ask you the questions right away obviously. Moving forward on car rentals. After they get this information from you, they will then ask you what type of car you want. They will not guarantee the model, just the type. So if you want like a certain colors or a certain model, they are not going to do that, it is just full-size, mid-size, intermediate or economy. They are just going to guarantee that type. Remember, you have to put your wheelchair in the back so that the trunk space must be large enough, so that is something to think about. If something goes wrong when you arrive at the car company, be calm, they will usually find the mechanics to fix the problems or will at least try to do something. They must be ADA compliant. They have rentals for motorized wheelchairs, this is coming actually up twice. This is also part of Wheelchairs Getaways and it is also part of a service that you can call. Let us say you dont want to drive and you want to call somebody, that was the first part I was referring to, this is more about Wheelchairs Getaways. There are two ways to do this, you can either drive yourself, have somebody else drive you and rent the car, or you can call a ground transportation service at the destination that you are to just pick you up and drop you off. There are a number of small companies in the United States (US) that provide vans with hydraulics lifts or ramps. The one we most often used like I said before is the Wheelchairs Getaways. It is strongly recommended to give as much notice as possible for these rentals, due to the limited number of vans that the companies have in the lot. They don''t have the number of cars like Hertz does. They dont have like hundreds of cars, they just have like three vans or four at the most. So, you have to really give them advance notice. Moving forward, Slide number 24, continues talking about you will need to provide the reservationist with the detailed information such as do you require the van to have hand controls installed or somebody who is able-bodied, will they be driving, therefore they will ask if you need the seats to be taken out. The van has a few ways it can be configured. They are pretty easy about that, however you want it done they will do it. Usually, they will meet you like I said before, at your flight when it arrives and then when you are departing, they will meet you again. There is a drop-off and pick-up fees for that though. Continuing, now I guess I am ready for the questions on Ground Transportation.
A little clarification, where you talked about car rentals, you get into an area that is explicitly covered under Title III of the ADA, car rental agencies place of public accommodations. But then you also talk about van rentals, where you are getting into an area of providing information for people.
It is two different areas.
That is alright, just so people are clear on that. So people understands that the accessible vans, that is a resource for individuals that are going to be traveling.
Car rental companies like Hertz and Avis, they do not have a ramp. So that is why we have to go to the other service.
Right, for those car rental agencies that don''t rent and aren''t required to provide those types of accessible vehicles, vehicles that are van accessible. Before we bring the Operator in and to get questions again, in terms of the other types of requirements for car rental agencies, it may also include modifications in their policies or procedures to allow say someone that doesn''t have a driver''s license but wants to be the one that uses a credit card to pay for the vehicle, someone that is blind or visually impaired or someone that has a seizure disorder, so other types of requirements for individuals that are traveling that are required under Title III of the ADA. Operator, if we could go ahead and let folks know that now is the time to ask questions on land transportation.
Once again, ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to ask a question, please press one from your touch-tone phone now. Your first question, please go ahead.
Go ahead with your question.
My question is that I plan dialogues across the country and I am always looking for ground transportation from the airport to the hotel, and the airports have a weird way that they list ground transportation. What are the requirements for a ground transportation that is supposed to be offered for the general public? Should it include accessible transportation?
Yes, if it is in the United States.
Right, if they are airport shuttle companies operating from the airport to the hotels, if the companies that are what categorized as being primarily engaged in the business of transportation, and yes, they must have accessible vehicles in their fleet, as would as Stephanie alluded to this back in the hotels section, the hotels that offer transportation between the hotel and airport or other destinations, must have accessible vehicles or be able to provide what is called equivalent service to individuals that need accessible vehicles. It doesn''t mean that all of their vehicles must be accessible. But an individual requiring an accessible vehicle, should be able to access the same service that anyone else has, meaning the same costs, the same hours of service, the same service area, and no additional eligibility to use the service. Yes, there are requirements. They should have accessible vehicles and airport shuttles in other area that the Department of Justice has been active in the past and on their website they have several settlement agreements with various airport shuttle services.
Your next question comes from the Captioner. Please go ahead.
Is it permissible for car rental companies to require the renter not to waive insurance?
Do you mean like Hertz or Wheelchairs Getaways?
I think it is the car rental.
Ok, car rental like Hertz. You can wave the insurance. Yes, you can waive the insurance.
I think the question was getting at, can they have it so you can''t waive their insurance, so you would have to use their insurance. I guess it would get to a policy if it is enforce for all individuals accessing their services, it would not necessary be a practice that is discriminatory on the basis of disability.
I think is part of your driving record.
Operator, do we have another question? And do we have another question from the Captioner?
We do have another question.
Go ahead with your question.
Yes, I have a question regarding traveling by rail. Amtrak seems to have addressed most of the issues on long-distance trains, but what about the shorter distance trains such as public, private, Metro and commuter systems?
With a specialist here who is actually working on that. I can put you and touch with them. That is something, his name is Terrence Mogley. And he is actually quadriplegic and he is working on that with New York City right now and all over. He is in Seattle right now actually.
Caller, do you have a specific question regarding public transport or rail or just more general?
I didn''t see it addressed at this point. Many cities do not have a rail transportation, but might in the future due to our problems with energy.
In any newly constructed public transportation, there are accessibility standards out there for light rail and commuter rail.
Most of your light rail and commuter rail will have newer facilities. But there are many stations that are very old and there are some limitations I believe on just to what extent they have to modify these older stations.
Correct. There were some requirements when the ADA went into effect for key stations with the light and commuter rail. That key stations were to be made accessible within a certain time frame, and then other stations, as they are altered, those alterations must fully comply with the new construction standards. But, if you want some more general information or specific questions, I would encourage you to follow up with your regional ADA Center or also you can follow up with the folks at Stephanie''s office.
Yes, sure I will help. I have the right person actually in mind to help with that like I said.
We have time for one more question here before we move on to the last section. Operator, go ahead.
Your next question. Please go ahead with your question.
Go ahead. If your phone is on mute, take it off mute. No.
We will go to the next question.
Why dont we go ahead and we will just move on to our next section here and then we will have as much time as possible to take questions on cruise lines and any other outstanding questions that individuals have. So Stephanie, why dont you go ahead and take us through the last part of your presentation.
Ok, and this is By Sea. And again I am always speaking as a travel agent and this is what we do and this is how we handle it, and it is the best way that we see how to handle it, because we do it every day. Most of the big cruise companies have their own ADA department or they might refer to it as the special needs department or special services department. But almost all the big cruise lines have that department. When you are making a reservation for a cruise, you should ask for that department. Immediately in the beginning of the conversation, state that you have a special need. Speak directly to those agents, not just the agent that picks up the phone on the 800 number. After making your reservation with the cruise, they should fax you or mail you a confirmation. Please, look on that confirmation and make sure you clearly see wheelchair accessible room. Because if you don''t see it on there, again we have to troubleshoot and advocate and so forth to make sure there are no problems when you arrive. So always double and triple checked and make sure that you see that on there. Also, just like hotels, it is not a request. This is not a request for smoking or non-smoking. They have to be guaranteed it. Moving on, the biggest challenge is not the ship but the ports. The ports are -- sometimes run into accessibility problems. We had a member that went to Bermuda and had an accessibility problem at the port. When you speak to the reservationist, make sure the ports are accessible and the reservationist remember again all the special service reservationists. So they might say you know what I am going to call you right back and I am going to call over and find out and make sure that is okay. But, before you book the ship, before you actually pay for the ship or pay for the cruise or even put a deposit on it, make sure that you find out that when you get to the port, that you can get off the boat. And you can leave the ship independently. If you have to go on shore via launch or it is also called a tender, is an accessible or how will you access it? So just make sure you ask that question. Do they have accessible excursion? That is part of, maybe they might have specific excursions for accessibility and that quite often happens because cruise companies, this is just what I hear in the travel magazines, they are supposed to be the best at being accessible in the travel industry. Moving forward, I did a short run down on cruises, so I guess I am open for questions on cruises.
I just wanted to touch on that. You talked about the Supreme Court did rule recently that the foreign flag ships are covered under the ADA. Foreign flag ships that used U.S. ports are covered by Title III under the ADA. That was a case that resolved a discrepancy between Three Circuits in the U.S. regarding whether or not foreign flag ships were covered by the ADA. The Supreme Court settled that saying that yes, they were. Limitations in terms of existing facilities and readily achievable barrier removal, but the important fact is that they are covered under Title III of the ADA. The U.S. Access Board, the independent federal agency that creates the guidelines under the ADA is in the process of working on a guideline addressing access to passenger vessels. They recently put out a notice, they are in the midst of a public comment period. The public comment period on the passenger vessels has been extended to November 13th. Originally it was to have ended on September 12th that has been extended. You can go to the Access Board website in order to submit public comments on passenger vessels. So, this will address newly constructed vessels, including cruise lines and different types of boats. But, the Access Border website is www.access-board.gov. So just wanted to mention that. Why dont we go ahead, and we have about 20 minutes or so, 25 minutes or so to go. Why dont we go ahead and open it up at this point for questions on cruise lines and if there are any other outstanding questions we can go ahead and take those at this point too.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to ask a question, please press one from your touch tone phone. Your first question, please go ahead.
I wanted to go back to the real situation, what is the status on truncated domes on platforms and key stations, and what are the gap requirements under the Americans with Disabilities guidelines, between the train in a platform for people that use wheelchair?
Peter, I am going to let you answer that question.
Sure, I don''t have in front of me the gap. It is set depending on light rail or commuter rail as to the gap that is allowed between the platform and the actual boarding surface itself. As far as detectable warnings, they are required along passenger platforms and required along the entire length of that boarding platform. If you want to contact our office, I can get you the specifics with regards to the allowed gap between the boarding platform and the train itself.
We have that, also so you know. I would have to go to my boss, she has that information, I dont have that.
If you want to follow up with either the ADA Center or with Stephanie''s group, we can you that specific information.
Can we have our next question please Operator.
Your next question. Please go ahead.
I am blind and so is my husband, we are considering going on a cruise. The only time I went on one previously, it was an older ship, and my husband had some vision at that time. We were told that they did not have to and they could not provide a guide for us when we got off the ship at ports and we just basically had to follow the crowd as best as we could. Is that still true or is there some sort of requirement that they would need to provide us with a sighted guide?
My expertise are in spinal cord injuries, so I am going to pass this to Peter.
In terms of what the requirements are, under Title III of the ADA you would first need to look at if the port stop were a location in the United States. And if so, then you have the application of the ADA. However, there are limitations to what places of public accommodation are required to do in terms of providing what may be termed services of a personal nature. If individuals are allowed to get out and explore on their own, there are no set tours that are specifically provided for by the cruise line, then I would say that there is no requirement for them to provide any type of sighted guide for an individual. I think there may be some obligations if for instance they provided a guided tour themselves, and then I think that they would have obligations with regards to that materials descriptions of what is taking place, providing sighted guide for individuals would not be something that they would be required to provide.
It was in Puerto Rico and it was a tour that they provided.
Were they using vehicles?
Yeah because they were using vehicles and we got off for shopping and stuff like that.
Alright, they have obligations in terms of ensuring that they were using accessible vehicles, for that tour, as they were the ones responsible for that. Again, it gets to a situation that if they had various locations they simply stopped the vehicle and allow individual to get off and explore on their own, there is not going to be a requirement that they provide a sighted guide for individuals. If individuals travel as a group, I think that the individuals that are blind or visually impaired could be very easily accommodated in that type of setting.
Operator, may we have our next question please.
Your next question. Please go ahead.
I am reading this for a couple different people. How long ago did the rule come into effect that the airline must repair a wheelchair that was broken? She had a problem several years ago and they refused to repair it?
It is a recent. They used to be they only cover up to $250, now they have to cover the entire wheelchair.
And the other question is about if someone is a person with diabetes, how are the airlines now with all of the increased security about carrying needles and lances, what does a person with diabetes need to do to ensure that he or she can take on their supply?
Well, actually I am part of the TSA Coalition. And right now they are allowing just enough so that the person has enough medication just for the duration of the flight.
And what about for the lancets for testing blood sugar during the flight?
Again, it is always best to have a doctor''s note with that.
Yeah, individuals are being allowed to take their medical supplies onto the plane itself. Stephanie, I was wondering, I have a question that was sent in earlier, referencing an article the was out recently. Some individuals with certain disabilities, individuals with oral cancer or other perhaps side effects of medication that they take, and the impact of a no liquid on planes have on those individuals. So I am wondering what experiences if any you had with that, with the recent note upgrading in security and limitations on the types of kinds of items that individuals can bring on to airplanes.
Well, like I said my specialty is people with a spinal cord injury. So, I know about like for example, we run into problems with the gel cushions and than they allow them. So unfortunately I cant answer that question.
Ok. Operator do we have our next question please.
Your next question. Please go ahead with your question.
I have a question about the ground travel requirements. Are limo companies and other companies that provide ground transportation to and from airports covered by Title III in regards to having guide dogs in the vehicles?
Yes, in the U.S. yes, as far as I know. And again, I am spinal cord injuries usually, but yeah.
Ok, because I have run into that situation a couple of times. And I always let people know on the onset when I make reservation that I have a guide dog. I have run into situations on planes or they put me on other seats besides the bull-head. You always run into situation when you dont think you are going to run into, so I thought I would ask that question.
Sure, ground transportation, and private entities that covered under Title III of the ADA would have to modify any no pet policies they have in order to accommodate an individual with disabilities that uses a service animal. And that would fall under the Title III of the ADA. Operator, may we have our next question please.
The next question. Please go ahead with your question.
I have a question about service animals and relief areas at airports after you have signed in and have already been cleared for security, if you go from one airport to another and change planes, is the CRO person the person you would were in contact to go out to relieve area for your dog? Or is there a person in the airport? Or how is that?
No, there is a person you can contact, I am sorry, you are referring to in the airport you said?
I am speaking if you are traveling and you change planes and you have a service animal that, the dog needs to be relieved, you already been cleared for security. I have tried different approaches and basically they don''t even know how to let you out. One time I was let out and I could not get back in.
Ask for a CRO. They have to help you and they will help you.
You will be quite satisfied with what they do usually.
So your best advice for someone that has brought this up earlier when we had questions in air traveling, in service animals for airport settings the best way to go about that is contacting the CRO?
Yes, because they know what has to get done and they know the law is and they are willing and ready to do it. They have to do it. They are the people that are trained to know the law.
Right and that of course comes under the Air Carriers Access Act. Operator, may we have our next question please?
Your next question. Please go ahead with your question.
Yes, my question may have been answered already or I may have misunderstood you. But did you say something to the effect that a service animal must be licensed to be eligible for air travel?
Yes. I did say that. I am not a specialist in service animals.
What type of license for service animals?
Do you want to answer that Peter?
I am sorry, go ahead and repeat that question.
I said what type of license are you speaking of? There are certain states and jurisdiction that do not license nor certify service animals. What would the airline need?
Well, under the ADA, covered entities can require documentation that the animal is a service animal. I am not certain of the requirements under the Air Carriers Access Act whether or not the airline can require that type of documentation.
If you have a situation and that comes up, I mean do you have a service animal?
No I don''t, but I know somebody who is a trainer of service animals but I dont believe that those service animals are certified or licensed anywhere.
I was told that they are supposed to be. Maybe you can call me afterwards, and again I can find that information out for you.
If something I cant answer it, I can always find it out.
I am sorry. The language under the Air Carriers Access Act is the same as it is under the ADA. And that a covered entity cannot require documentation or make inquiry into the individuals disability. However, a covered entity both under the ADA and the Air Carriers Access Act can ask if the animal is a service animal and can ask what tasks or service it performs for the individual. But the airline cannot require documentation or certification of the service animal. Hope we clarify that for you. I am sorry Operator, please go ahead with our next question please.
Your next question. Please go ahead with your next question.
Ok, can you hear me this time?
Yes, we can hear you loud and clear. Go ahead.
With regard to the service animal licensing, that may be referring to rabies licensing and those types of licenses, but just that animals in general are supposed to have. But the ADA does not have any certification process. So, you are right, you cant have licensing for service animals but most municipalities have licensing requirements for any animals.
Right, it is not specific to a service animal. It is animal in general. But did you have an additional question?
The previous one I think was answered, was about when you are on a cruise and your tender goes to the port and it is a foreign port, whose responsibility is it to have the port accessible or it is the travelers responsibility to find out if it is accessible?
I think you answered that before right Peter.
Yeah, I think you had referenced it in terms of if it is a foreign port, there are no requirements that fall under U.S. laws or U.S. accessibility standards. Stephanie Acosta: Yeah.
But the Spector versus Norwegian just actually applies to the ship. Is that correct?
Correct. The ship itself, physical accessibility as well as policies, because one of the cases that the Supreme Court was looking at out of the one of circuits dealt with two individuals that were blind that were denied access to a cruise unless they brought a companion or chaperon along with them. The cruise line was not going to allow them to travel by themselves. So, it addressed physical accessibility issues, existing facilities, readily achievable barrier removal as well as any discriminatory policies, practices or procedures that the cruise line may have had in place.
Thanks for your question. We had a question come in from a vocational rehabilitation counselor who has several of his clients are individuals with spinal cord injuries and need accessible transportation.
That is my area.
They do in-state transportation. His question wanted to know about Greyhound and the requirements for over the road bus accessibility and what kind of requirements there were in place for the large carriers such as Greyhound.
Well, actually we have the pamphlet, I can send it to him. I just dont have that as part of my power point because we dont book Greyhound as a travel agent. I can send that to him. Once again, I am handling like the travel portion, we are travel agents, we are not lawyers. My boss is a lawyer though.
Well, the requirements are since October of 2000 for large carriers and October of 2001 for smaller carriers. All newly purchased or leased over the road buses are required to be accessible. And by 2006, half of the fleet of Greyhound and large carriers should be accessible and the entire fleet should be accessible by 2012. At this time, an individual giving Greyhound 48 hours notice can get an accessible vehicle along the route to which they would want to travel. There are other requirements in place for over the road bus carriers. They must have accessible vehicles or provide an accessible vehicle if given 48 hours notice.
48 hours notice and if I could just add one more thing. I know about an excursion in New York, and because I am from New York I guess everyone can tell that. We used like the double busses and they are accessible in New York like just if you want to do a sight around New York City.
Doing the sightseeing.
That I know about, Greyhound we dont use. In travel agencies, no travel agencies use Greyhound.
The requirements for sightseeing buses that would fall under Title III of the ADA and the transportation requirements under the Department of Transportation. Operator, why dont we go ahead to our next question please.
Your next question comes from the Captioner. Please go ahead with your question.
What if my mother wanted to bring her Maltese onboard an aircraft. The airline will charge her $150 if she said it was not a service animal. What is to keep people for bringing their family pet on the plane?
Ok, that was part of what we are talking about before, and Peter you had that straight up answer.
Yeah, I guess in terms of if someone is going to attempt to beat the law regarding service animals weather it is regarding airline travel or someone trying to bring an animal into a place of public accommodation or on to public transportation, if they tell the entity, the covered entity that it is a service animal, there is not much the entity can do. As I stated they can ask the questions, they can ask if it is a service and can ask what services or tasks the animal performs for the individual. If an individual is set on getting around it, they certainly could. Now, a covered entity whether it is an airline or a place of accommodation is not required to allow an animal that is unruly. The service animal should not cause problems within the establishment or within whatever the facility of the covered entity. Do we have another question or another question from the Captioner?
At this time, it seems there are no further questions.
Ok, we are almost ready to close it up. Actually I have one last portion.
Alright, why dont you go ahead and finish that up.
Alrighty, it is renting medical equipment, our travel agency has done this often. Many travelers who have been an expensive power wheelchair often are very concern that the airline could break it in storage. Now like somebody earlier said, there was a point when there was a certain, it was only up to like $250 where they would cover it, and anything after that you would be responsible for. But no longer is that the case. However, there are still people who would rather bring their manual wheelchair if they have an extra wheelchair or an older one and rent one when they get to their location and have the wheelchair ready at the cruise or at the hotel or wherever they are going. We do that often. And hoist lift is another big thing that we do, we rent many hoist lifts. For the person we usually get it there the day before they arrive and then they come pick it up when the person depart. MS patients often order scooters on cruise ships. There is a special scooter company that we use, that we have a good relationship with. And there are many more rental options, and that is part of what our travel agency does. That is what makes us a little bit different or a lot different than other travel agencies. The next slide is the ADA overview. Just wanted everyone to have a copy of that. Again on July 26, 1990 the ADA was signed into law by President George Bush. It goes on to state about the Department of Justice at the end and regulations to implement Title III of the ADA. That has come up a few times.
And your contact information.
It is right here. This is my contact.
For individuals that want to follow up with Stephanie, with any outstanding questions that individuals may have on the last section regarding medical equipment or any of the areas. Individuals can also follow up with their Regional ADA and IT Center by calling 800-949-4232. Stephanie, I would like to thank you for participating today and providing us with your time on this topic that is quite important. As individuals with disabilities do spend quite a lot of money on traveling. And the travel industry, as they begin to recognize that, realized that there are dollars out there, hopefully will give even better greater accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Thank you for your time today.
I want to thank all of our participants, for all of our longtime participants and those of you that have joined us for the first time today or recently. I want to thank all of you for making the ADA Audio Conference, the success it has been over the years. Due to the nature of the current funding situation, the ten ADA and IT Centers are in the process of wrapping up a five-year grant and we are in the process moving into another five-year funding cycle. For that reason, at this time, we have put forth only a three month schedule as part of the ADA Audio Conference series. So, when you visit to www.ada-audio.org, you will find sessions listed for October, November and December, with information about the sessions, the speakers and registration information. So individuals, you are encouraged to go there and register for those sessions. You can do so at this point in time. In the very near future, once the grant situation is settled, we will be announcing the remainder of the 12-month schedule. As past practice, have a 12 sessions coming up. As part of that, there will be series as we have in the past on employment issues, so, please look forward to participating in those sessions and you can find information by visiting the ADA Audio home site. You can also register to receive information when the new sessions are posted at the www.ada-audio.org website. On October 17th, we will have an ADA legal update and hear about trends at the federal court level. We will have Barry Taylor from Equip for Equality joining us. Barry is a frequent participant speaker in the ADA Audio Conference series and always does an excellent job and gets great feedback regarding his presentations. So, you can find information on how to register for that session at the ADA Audio home page and also get information about the sessions in November and December. One last quick item, you will notice that for the November and December sessions, those sessions has been moved up a week, they are the second Tuesday of the month due to the holiday season. Of course, Thanksgiving in November and moved up in December because of Christmas. So once again, I would like to thank everyone for participating. Those of you that may have any outstanding questions, again, I encourage you to contact your Regional ADA and IT Center at 1-800-949-4232. Thank you for participating and have a great afternoon.